Boots & Sabers

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0642, 17 Aug 16


Evolving ADA

This tidbit caught my attention.

The Slinger School District Board of Education agreed to replace the bleachers in the high school gymnasium and increase salaries while approving the 2016-17 budget at Monday’s Board meeting.


“Basically they’re not ADA, they don’t have the hand railings,” Board Vice President Bruce Hassier said of the bleachers.

Several Americans With Disabilities Act guidelines need to be met, including a space for wheelchairs, and at the same time, parts are no longer available to replace those that break


The bleachers were installed in 1992 and do not offer lanes to walk up or hand rails for support.

I don’t fault the Slinger district with wanting to replace the bleachers, although I would point out that there are many schools whose bleachers are much older. What caught my attention is the justification. The Slinger District wants new bleachers to meet ADA requirements, but the existing bleachers were installed AFTER the ADA was in force. The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990. The bleachers were installed in 1992 – presumably in compliance with the law at the time. Yet, the bleachers are now considered out of compliance with the law.

It just shows how much the ADA, which was passed to ensure that businesses made reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities, has been stretched through the courts to insist on rather extraordinary accommodations.


0642, 17 August 2016


1 Comment

  1. TEXAG

    The ADA guidelines have been revised several times, most recently in 2010.  Architects follow these guidelines with new construction work, but interestingly, there is no enforcement mechanism for existing buildings – i.e., no building code official is going to come cite you or make you update your building.  However, through the ability of citizens to make complaints to the government in regard to non-compliance, potentially resulting in a civil rights lawsuit, and the aversion to risk by your property insurance carrier, you can be “encouraged” to bring your building into compliance.  Of course, when you can spend the public’s money, it makes for an easier decision.

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